ASTM Sports Flooring Standard
In areas designated for sports and recreation, it is important to judge a floor by the characteristics that optimize it for physical activities. This is where ASTM F2772 comes in. ASTM F2772 measures four key factors regarding safety and suitability for sports activities. These factors are: force reduction, surface finish effect (also called “friction”), ball rebound and vertical deformation. Each parameter provides valuable information for selecting a sports/recreational flooring system. Systems that can be tested under ASTM F2772 are: area elastic (wood systems), point elastic (synthetic systems), and combi-elastic (systems combining area elastic and point elastic construction).
Force reduction (also called “shock absorption”) evaluates a surface’s ability to reduce impact force. This predominantly relates to impacts generated by lower extremities, for example an athlete running. Force reduction is tested according to ASTM F2569 and it indicates the degree of attenuation provided by the surface in response to certain movements. ASTM F2772 arranges degrees of force reduction into five classes, to assist in determining the appropriate level for specific sports and/or other activities. ASTM F2772 also establishes a minimum value of 10% force reduction for any floor space designed for indoor athletics or physical recreation.
Ball rebound (also called ball bounce) is a mechanical property that determines a surface’s suitability for basketball. It is tested according to ASTM F2117 and accounts for two parameters: performance level (average performance of test points must reach a minimum of 90%) and uniformity level (test point deviation cannot exceed 3% of the average of all tests). Ball rebound is based on the responsiveness of a ball and its interaction with the surface. It is calculated by comparing the ball’s rebound height on the sports surface to the rebound height of the same ball on concrete. The result is expressed as a percentage. The uniformity requirement ensures consistent ball bounce throughout the flooring system. This particular testing methodology is specific to basketballs, but may offer useful information for other inflated balls that come into contact with the flooring’s surface as well.
Surface Finish Effect (Friction)
Surface finish effect describes a surface’s response to a sliding foot, typically under dry conditions. It is tested according to ASTM E303 and accounts for two parameters: performance level (testing must achieve a value between 80-110) and uniformity level (individual tests cannot vary more than 4 points from the average value); the testing apparatus used for ASTM F2772 is reliable, repeatable, and portable (in the event field testing is desired). With indoor athletic activities, it is important to note that the optimal degree of friction varies. Some surfaces designed for competitive sports, such as sprinting, require more resistance to sliding than other sports, such as basketball. The value acquired in testing can be compared to historically acceptable levels of friction for indoor athletics such as basketball and volleyball.
Vertical deformation values indicate the ability of the surface to deform under load. High deformation can affect the safety of the athlete, causing instability of the foot, while low deformation may cause injuries as a result of immediate impact force. The testing and parameters of acceptable results are specific for each type of flooring system (area elastic, point elastic, and combi-elastic). Vertical deformation is tested according to ASTM F2157 and accounts for two parameters per system type:
For point elastic/synthetic flooring, values should be <0.138” (3.5 mm). Area elastic/wood flooring is classified into either an inclusive or exclusive range. The inclusive class A represents values between 0.071”-0.197” (1.8 mm – 5.0 mm) and exclusive class B represents values <0.071” (<1.8 mm). For combination systems (wood/synthetic), inclusive values are 0.071”-0.197” (1.8 mm – 5.0 mm) for wood and >0.020 or <0.079 (>0.5 mm or < 2.0 mm) for the synthetic surface.
UNIFORMITY LEVEL (FOR ALL SYSTEM TYPES)
Mean absolute deviation of individual tests should not exceed 0.03” (0.7mm) relative to the average of all test point values.
ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world. ASTM’s leadership in international standards development is driven by the contributions of its members: more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 135 countries. ASTM members deliver the test methods, specifications, guides and practices that support industries and governments worldwide. Before ASTM F2772, sports floors were manufactured to meet the standards of European or German committees. These standards were focused on the sporting activities popular in Europe. ASTM F2772 is inclined toward the needs of North American sports. This makes it the most relevant standard to use in North America. To download a complete version of ASTM F2772-11, visit www.astm.org.